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Winter gastronomy through the Most Beautiful (and authentic) Villages of Spain

  • Migas with wine from Robledillo de Gata.

The municipalities that are part of the Association The Most Beautiful Towns of Spain are unique places, full of tradition and with authenticity as a flag. In addition to the beauty of its streets and surroundings, the heritage of the towns also includes gastronomy: authentic cuisine with local ingredients that reflects, in each bite, the particular history of the municipality.

The municipalities that are part of the Association The Most Beautiful Towns of Spain are unique places, full of tradition and with authenticity as a flag. Its heritage, be it cultural, architectural and natural, amazes everyone who has known any of the 104 towns that are already part of the network, which dot the Spanish geography, each with its own style and identity. In addition to the beauty of its streets and surroundings, the heritage of the towns also includes gastronomy: authentic cuisine with local ingredients that reflects, in each bite, the particular history of the municipality. “One of the great tourist attractions is its typical dishes. Because we cannot do tourism normally, due to the health situation we are going through, from the Association we propose to bring our villages closer to the homes of all people, through their gastronomy ”, explains Francisco Mestre, president and founder of the Los Asociación Most Beautiful Towns in Spain.

Typical winter dishes, each with its unique personality, are the specialty of many towns, some located in the mountains or cold areas during this time of year. Although each of the towns, no matter how small, offers its own gastronomic treasure, these are some of the gastronomic ideas taken from these small municipalities:

The tostao garlic soups from Bubión (Granada)

Garlic soups are a filling, hot, and vitamin-packed dish, perfect for "warming the stomach." In Bubión, a white town located in the heart of the Alpujarra, very close to two other municipalities of the Association: Pampaneira and Campaneira, these traditional soups are made in a very particular way. In addition to garlic (toasted, naturally), they have onion, almonds, tomato and ham. A real winter delight that can be accompanied with wine from the Contraviesa wineries and be supported by the varied pastries in the area: borrachillos, papaviejos, soplillos, fig bread or fritters.

The volteás potatoes from Candelario (Salamanca)

Their potatoes volteás are a typical dish of the entire Salamanca area that is home to the beautiful town of Candelario, so beautiful that it has often been the scene of movies and series. However, although we cannot ignore these traditional potatoes with torreznos, onion and smoked paprika, the area's mushroom empanadas or its many pork sausages are also typical, whose unmistakable flavor is obtained, according to locals, when dried with the cold mountain range of Candelario, located at 1136 meters above sea level. In that area, nearby towns of the Association share this rich and traditional gastronomy, such as Miranda del Castañar, Mogarraz, La Alberca, also from Salamanca, or Bonilla de la Sierra (Ávila).

The lebaniego stew from Potes and Mogrovejo (Cantabria)

Potes is a rich Cantabrian town, a meeting point for rivers and valleys and the geographic and social center of the Liébana Valley. For this reason, it is not surprising to think that its typical lebaniego stew is one of the most powerful and delicious dishes that we can taste during winter. This dish includes a consistent soup, chickpeas with products from the pig slaughter, such as chorizo ​​and bacon, followed by jerky, stuffing and collard greens. When preparing this dish, we must not forget to accompany it with orujo, a liquor made traditionally in Potes, of which they are fully proud. So much so that they hold an annual party in his honor every November. This pomace, of artisan manufacture, is made by means of Alquitaras, which distills the broth from the vineyards of the region. Just 10 kilometers away, there is Mogrovejo, which shares gastronomy and tradition.

The gofio of Betancuria (Fuerteventura)

Not only in the coldest provinces of Spain are delicious traditional winter dishes cooked. The Canarian towns of the network (specifically, Betancuria, in Fuerteventura, Tejeda in Las Palmas, Teguise, in Lanzarote, Agulo, in La Gomera and Garrachico, in Tenerife: the latter two incorporated in 2021) boast a careful, exotic gastronomy in some cases. Perhaps one of the most traditional dishes at this time (although it is eaten all year round) is gofia flour, served with broth, milk, water, wine or honey. This toasted cereal flour food, which the locals call millo, was made with wheat or barley until the colonizers brought corn from America, one of the mainstays of gastronomy on the islands. It is made simply by boiling a fish stock and pouring the gofio flour while stirring to avoid lumps from forming. It is usually eaten as an aperitif or a side dish.

The scrambled eggs with rebollones from Puertomingalvo (Teruel)

Nestled in a beautiful natural environment, Puertomingalvo is a beautiful town, rich in traditions and gastronomy. Its humid climate makes the birth of mushrooms of very different varieties possible, not only in autumn, but also at other times of the year. For this reason, one of its typical dishes is scrambled eggs with rebollones, morels or poplar mushrooms. Also noteworthy are its truffles and its traditional nose beans, widely consumed by bigeye (that's what the 135 inhabitants who live in this beautiful enclave are called) during winter times.

The sausage with fèsols from Beget (Girona)

Beget, in Girona, recently incorporated into the Association, is often defined as a “postcard” medieval town. In addition, its gastronomy is unique and full of nuances. Its cuisine is traditional in the mountains, with local products, where there is no shortage of cheeses, veal and lamb. We will find many recipes with the butifarra as the main character or the longaniza, accompanied by farmhouse bread with tomato or pecorino cheese. A simple example of making is the butifarra with white beans, one of the most typical dishes of the area. It is made with beans sautéed with garlic and parsley, pouring a cup of cava to soften the flavor of the beans, called fèsols in the area.

The “pot” and the sweet potato pastissets from Vilafamés (Castellón)

The historic town of Vilafamés can also boast of a varied and exquisite gastronomy, such as its dish, simply called "pot", which does not follow a single recipe and whose condition is to offer the diner products from the area, such as vegetables or black pudding, varying by season. Also typical are the grilled pork lizard with aioli, the tombet (chicken, rabbit, lamb ...) or the traditional paella. For dessert, it is easy to make their sweet potato pastissos (or pastissets), which include lemon, egg, anise brandy, butter, as well as sweet potato and cinnamon for the filling.

The buchos or the cabbage pot from Cudillero (Asturias)

Developed around the sea, Cudillero is one of the most praised municipalities in the area for its beauty and for continuing to preserve, despite the years, that spirit of a fishing village that falls in love with. In 2021, he joined the Association The Most Beautiful Towns of Spain. This fishing village of colorful houses offers many typical dishes based (naturally) on fish and seafood. An example of this are their beans with clams or the curadillo, a fish that is dried in the sea wind, without salting or spices. There is also no shortage of buchos, some slightly spicy hake tripe, served with onion, garlic and pepper. Its orices (sea urchins), barnacles, bugres (lobster) or andarica (crab) are also popular, but if what we want is to revive from our home all the spirit of the flavor and aroma of Cudillero with easy-to-find products, you We recommend that you prepare a traditional pot of Asturian cabbage, a dish that is also very characteristic of this town and those that surround it.

The migas with pitarra wine from Robledillo de Gata (Extremadura)

This Extremaduran town owes its name to the privileged location in which it is found: La Sierra de Gata. It is an ocher-colored municipality, due to the adobe of its houses. Surrounded by olive, chestnut and cork oak trees, the extra virgin olive oil, from Cáceres chamomile, is enjoyed all year round. In winter, Extremadura migas are especially eaten, which do not need more than old bread, garlic, red pepper, and six teaspoons of olive oil, better if it is from the area. In the case of Robledillo, it is traditional to accompany it with pitarra wine and spirits.